During this week, our Motherlode of Miles week that benefits the Donna Foundation, we are profiling four #motherrunners whose lives have been changed by breast cancer; hopefully the perspective and ideas they share will benefit others who are going through similar situations.
You've already heard from Heidi and Keli. Today, we're headed out to Portland, Oregon to meet Meghan Zonich, a runner and mother of two kids (ages 13 + 11) who was just recently diagnosed with breast cancer.
These posts are in their own words; they will also be guests on the AMR podcast at the end of this week.
Date of Diagnosis: Monday, August 12th, 2019. I had an ultrasound and biopsy, and the radiologist asked if someone was in the waiting room with me. They don't ask you that to tell you everything's fine. I got the official call from my GYN Wednesday, August 14th and had my first oncologist meeting Thursday, August 15th.
Type of Breast Cancer: Stage 2 Ductal carcinoma Her2+, ER+, Grade 3, 6 rounds of Chemo (every three weeks), followed by surgery (TBD if it will be a lumpectomy or full mastectomy) and radiation.
Running through it: My A goal marathon race, which was on September 15, was put on hold; major suckage since I was primed for a Boston Qualifier. Luckily I was diagnosed four weeks before the marathon, so I headed into treatment in killer shape! I have kept a run streak going since my diagnosi. On the terrible post-chemo days I've settled for a mile walk but I've been outside on the move daily.
I am hoping to rock the Spokane Half Marathon on October 13th, but I am open to a 10K if that feels better.
How breast cancer changed her running perspective: With a strong family history of heart disease, I thought I was in the clear with running. Cancer didn't even cross my mind. This experience has solidified my belief in regular exercise, clean diet, and paying attention to your body.
I had a mammogram in March, which indicated nothing abnormal. I found my tumor in the shower in July. I could have easily believed my sisters who assumed it was a clogged sweat gland. Thankfully I listened to the little voice that said to check things out.
My advice: Get regular checkups and pay attention! Mammograms are not 100% at finding everything; if you have dense tissue request an ultrasound.
Best thing she is doing for herself during treatment: My husband's employer has provided us with a weekly house cleaner and meal prep helper, which have been amazing!
We are so very blessed and fortunate to have the help and support of our family and friends. As a substitute teacher I am able to set my schedule, and I'm taking a lot of time off to handle the tough days.
Regular sessions in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber have been great for recovery after treatments. Plus, my daily runs (sometimes walks) have been great for keeping my energy up and head clear.
Best thing others are doing for her during treatment: At a recent family event, my daughter gathered notes of encouragement and support. She leaves them on my pillow every few days.
My hair started falling out 2 weeks after round 1, and my 13-year-old son shaved his head with me.
My husband's job is currently very flexible. They allow him to work from home most days and attend Chemo treatments, which has been helpful. For treatment days, my mom knit me a beautiful cozy blanket.